[Excerpt from Srila Gurudeva: Around the World, U.K. 1996 (Radlett, 16 May), the second book in a series of volumes on Srila Gurudeva’s world preaching tours.]

Srila Gurudeva: Sita-devi was applying sindhur (vermilion) at the parting of the hair, according to Vedic custom. Do you know what sindhur is? Married Indian ladies apply this reddish vermilion at the parting of the hair. So, Sita-devi was applying this sindhur.

Seeing this sight, Hanuman asked her, “Mother, what are you doing? What is this that you apply?”

Sita-devi replied, “By applying this sindhur, Rama will never die. He will always be in good health and He will be glad and satisfied. I will be sauhagini—a chaste lady who controls her husband.” Hanuman was satisfied by this answer. As soon as Sita-devi went out of the room, Hanuman emptied the entire pot of sindhur and covered his entire body with this reddish powder. Entirely covered by this powder, Hanuman entered the royal assembly of Rama. On seeing Hanuman, all the members of the assembly started laughing and told each other, “What has Hanumana done?” Mother Janaki was also laughing.

One of the members asked Hanuman, “What have you done? Have you manifested your monkey nature?”

Hanuman replied, “I saw Mother Janaki applying this powder on the parting of her hair, so that Rama will have a long, happy life. So, mother applied this powder only on the parting of her hair, but I decided to cover my whole body with it, because Rama will then always be happy and He will never die.”

So, Hanuman’s service to Rama was incomparable, but he cannot go to Vrindavana. He cannot go. Why? If he sees Mother Yasoda disciplining her son, Krishna, Hanuman will think, “My Lord is being disciplined?” Thinking so, he will be upset. With his club, he might do something wrong. If he will see that in the groves of Vrindavana, Srimati Radhika and the gopis order Krishna and tell Him, “Come on! Come on! The colors painted on our feet has been washed away, so You should paint our feet.” Hanuman will also see Krishna praying to the gopis. Hanuman will think, “What is my Prabhu doing?” And he will again be upset. So, Hanuman never goes to Vrindavana because he is of dasya-rasa (the mood of being the servitor of the Lord). Dasya-rasa is not to be considered lowly, it is achieved only after liberation. Dasya-rasa is of two kinds. In the Vaikunta realm, there are four kinds of liberation—sarupya (having bodily features that resemble the Lord’s), samipya (equal association with the Lord), sarsti (equal possession of opulence like that of the Lord), and salokya (equal facility to live on the same planet of the Lord). Sayujya-mukti, to become one with the bodily effulgence of Krishna must be discarded. This kind of impersonalistic liberation is a great curse. But the other four kinds of liberation may be accepted by the lower class of devotees. Being four handed like Lord Vishnu or Narayana, and embellished with the conch, discus, club, and mace, they are situated in the lower half of Vaikuntha. Residing there, they are liberated and experience some happiness.

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